April 17, 2011

Akacorleone Interview by DonutChocula

Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got started?

My name is Pedro Campiche (
AKACORLEONE), i belong to the amazing '85 generation and i'm an illustrator and graphic designer originally from Lisboa, but right now i'm living in a cool town close to Lisboa, called Caldas da Rainha... Just arrived from almost a year living and working in Barcelona.

Like almost every writer, i began as a young troublemaker, that fell in love with colors and letters, from that to graphic design was a small step!

But these last few years i realised that i was really happy illustrating and plying with typos more than working as a corporate graphic designer, always influenced by my graffiti heritage, i just have fun illustrating for exhibitions, magazines, tees, or just for myself...

Where did that name AKACORLEONE come from?

I always had a thousand nicknames, some offensive, some just stupid, but for a long while i was known for the tags i wrote, so aka is for also known as (all the nicknames i had) and corleone was for the name i write since 2004, influenced by my obsession with mafia movies and everything related to the mob...

What do you enjoy about being an designer?

I think what i like more about this is being able to take the style and influences from the streets and from my youth to a broader audience, but it's mainly about being able to continue doing what i love and being payed for it!

What is your first art-making?

My father is a sculptor and when i was a kid a spent a lot of time around him while he worked, gathering stone pieces and gluing them together creating dumb art pieces, so i think that's where i started the "Art-making"...

Where do you go for inspiration when you start creating?

I usually get inspiration from random things, it could be from some lettering i see on a old store in the streets, from a doodle i sketch just for fun, from a morning show on Portuguese television or from some cool joke from my girlfriend, it strikes everywhere...

What can we find on your desktop? What type of materials used to draw and illustrate? What kind of books we can find in your library?

On my desk right now you couldn't find anything because it's a big mess! but i usually have my laptop, wacom tablet, something like 16 different sketchbooks for different purposes, pencils, thousands of black pens with different tips, poscas, ecolines, acrylics and spray cans... One of my big obsessions is books, i have lots of illustrators books, fanzines, lot's and lot's of comics, russian criminal tattoo books, tarot books, some graphic design books, and books i find in the flea market!

How is your life in Barcelona and how much impact do you think the city has had on you?

I just came back from Barcelona, it had a big impact on me because first of all i had some space and time to get focused on my illustration career, i got to know some really inspiring artists, got to see really cool exhibitions and experience the great lifestyle of Barcelona!

Favorite thing about Barcelona at the moment?

Lot's of things, Kiosko Burgers, freaks comic shop, parc de la ciudadela, Yesk, the people from
Montana, zumo de sandia de la Boqueria, the lifestyle, the exhibitions, the painted trucks, the friends i left there, the shows i have planned in 2011 in Barcelona, pimpam burgers, seeing Messi playing in Camp Nou, the horrible spanish tv shows, i could be here all day...

Lisboa vs Barcelona
Barcelona vs Lisboa

Bitoque from Lisboa
Tapas from Barcelona
Friends from Lisboa
Writers from Barcelona
Cool painting spots from Lisboa
Exhibitions from Barcelona
Feira da ladra from Lisboa
Great comic shops from Barcelona

What is for you Graffiti?
Streets, trains, metro.

As he began the collaboration for the design of the new can to Montana Shop & Gallery Lisbon?

I am friend of the Montana Lisboa dudes for a long time, from the graffiti and illustration world, they first invited me to create the logo for the
Montana Shop & Gallery Lisboa and from that i started to work with them on a regular basis...

How is Lisbon's street art/graff scene these days from your perspective?

I must say that sadly in my opinion the street graffit in Lisboa looks dead as
Michael Jackson, no fresh pieces, just toys painting in the streets... I think the "Street art" stole some of the spotlight for graffiti writers, the best opportunities to intervene on the streets are being given to designers and "Street artists" and that is kind of sad in my opinion...

But somehow i know the train and subway activity is alive and i'm glad to see that this is a part of graffiti that never dies!

What music are you listening while you work?

I listen from
Guru, to Flying Lotus, passing by Flight of The Conchords and always having time for some Girls!

What is your favorite meal?

Damn this may be the hardest question ever... Right now since i just woke up and i'm hungry as hell, i would kill for some bad ass steak with lots of sauce and some homemade fries and some veggies bbecause i like healthy food, hahaha!

What are your obsessions?

I'm obsessed with books, inventing new food,
Airmax 1, comics, drawing, the smell of spray cans, riding my bicycle, spending all day playing ping pong, Star Wars, mafia movies, Ikea, spending all morning in bed, varsity jackets, Family Guy, dancing like Christopher Walken on that Fatboy Slim video, collecting stuff i don't need, screenprinting, working in exhibitions, spending time with my friends, my girl.

One Color / One Book / One Website / One Movie

Blue turquoise /
A Graphic Cosmogony from Nobrow / cashcats.biz best website ever... / Shoot 'Em Up... The best worst movie ever... The dude kills bad guys with a carrot while making sweet love to Monica Belluci.

Best way to spend a day off?

Painting a wall with my friends, with a barbecue and cold beers on the spot and then going to a nice party and ending the night partying like there's no tomorrow!

Influences? Recommendations?

Too many influences to say, but right now i recomend the wonderfull work from my parner in crime
Kruella, the stuff from Nobrow, the exhibitions we're organising at Seres and some upcoming stuff from yours trully, akacorleone kid, hahahah!

Upcoming projects, exhibitions... Let us know!

Lot's of upcoming projects, but right now i'm very excited with a project of bringing to Portugal the dopest illustrators for a super collective show, but for now it's top secret!

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